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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

30 Jan 2014

The Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are scheduled to take place between 7-23 February and 7-16 March 2014, respectively. The city of Sochi is located in Krasnodar Krai, European Russia on the Black Sea coast.

Recommended Vaccinations

As with all travel events, preparation and planning is important if the traveller is to have a safe, healthy and enjoyable experience. Ideally travellers should consult their General Practitioner 6 weeks before intended travel to ensure that immunisations for life in the UK are up-to-date e.g. tetanus, measles and where appropriate seasonal influenza vaccine. This also allows any further vaccinations required for the trip to be administered in good time e.g. hepatitis A.

General Travel Health Advice

Travel and Health Insurance

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) strongly recommends all travellers to ensure that they obtain adequate personal insurance (including repatriation if necessary) whenever travelling. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in the Russian Federation. Medical treatment can be very costly and the British Embassy cannot help with this.

What to Pack ?

The climate in Sochi is humid and subtropical with mild winters (average 11 °C (52 °F) during the day and 4 °C (39 °F) at night) in the period from December to March. Clothing should be suitable for the cold nights and standing/sitting around as a spectator at the games. Good quality waterproof and windproof clothing including boots, gloves, hat, goggles or sun glasses (to protect against UV radiation) are recommended.

A personal first-aid kit should always be carried when travelling, including any regular prescription medication. The dangers from ultraviolet radiation is greater in snow covered areas due to reflection increasing the harmful effects. At altitude the atmosphere is thinner and clearer resulting in less filtration of UV rays. The first-aid kit should include high factor sun screen, lip balm and sun block for high risk areas (nose/ears).

Personal Safety

  • Large gatherings can cause separation from friends/group, pre-arrange a meeting place for such occassions.
  • Keep mobile phone in credit with battery fully charged, stay in touch.
  • Take note of emergency exits in the arena or stadium.
  • Pedestrians should take care crossing roads as Russian drivers may not give way to pedestrians.
  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Try to avoid over consumption of alcohol.
  • Casual sex is very risky, always carry and use good quality latex condoms should intercourse take place.
  • Homosexuality is legal in Russia, however, intolerance may be present in some areas and travellers should be wary about displaying affection in public.

The FCO has more detailed information on ways to reduce the risks to personal safety in the Russian Federation.

Sources of Further Information